Photo taken by Nadia Lees

Community Comes Together at Upper Perkiomen Bird and Wildlife Festival

On October 1st, Green Lane Park hosted the 12th annual Upper Perkiomen Bird and Wildlife Festival. A wide variety of craft stalls, informational booths, and activities were set up. Community events like this can sometimes lack participation by the public, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, but the festival has boomed in popularity.

“People usually have questions about things that they’ve seen while in the park, and things they want to know more about,” a park ranger running a stall about animal identification said. “Especially during Wildlife Fest, anyone who enjoys the park can come here to learn more.”

One booth was dedicated to birds specifically, run by volunteers from Bird Safe Philly, an organization focused on preventing and raising awareness of bird collisions with man-made structures. The group formed after a mass collision event in 2020, when thousands of migratory birds died after colliding with buildings in Philadelphia.

“It’s an important issue that I think not enough people are focusing on,” one representative said, showing visitors a wide variety of preventative measures they could take to decrease the risk of bird collisions. “Most people see these collisions as an inconvenience and don’t stop to think about the real impact of them.”

Other booths featured wildlife photography, native plants, fossils, community garden projects, and the nearby water treatment plant. Visitors were of all ages, and there were activities catered to a wide selection of interests. A particularly interesting stall showcased plans for a butterfly and dragonfly farm.

Informational posters around the booth gave an exciting look into the ongoing project, dubbed Dragonfly Farm, a satellite site by the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy. A native plant propagation greenhouse has already been constructed, and the organization’s next goal is to build a butterfly learning center. 

The festival also had a slew of children’s activities, as well as baby goat yoga and a butterfly tent. A craft vendor sold recycled paper from old cigar boxes preserved in resin and used as pendants for earrings and necklaces. Another one offered custom birdhouses, some of which could hold multiple birds.

Food like pizza and hotdogs were sold from a food truck, and live music played the whole time, provided by a band called the “Local Lost Boys.” They’ve been at the festival for multiple years now; it’s become a tradition to have them. Among other things, there was an eco-raffle, with baskets provided by local vendors, which occurred next to the pavilion. All proceeds benefited Green Lane.